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Greg
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 4:16 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 183: The Feel of Your T.U.C.H.


Once Aaron was settled in for the night, Barry took Gloria out to see the thing he had been building in the back yard.



"It doesn't look much like a helicopter!"


Gloria had made a point of not watching Barry's back-yard project while it was under construction, so she had been looking forward to this moment for several days.

"It doesn't look much like a helicopter!" she said.

"It wasn't supposed to. You might recall that you were the one who named it the Trans-Universal Chopper Hopper. I just said I was scavenging parts from dad's old helicopter."

"And the radioisotope thermal generator from that satellite they never launched--"

Barry donned his best stupid look. "Neither confirm nor deny, ma'am."

"So, tell me again what this thing is supposed to do?" 'Other than clutter up the space where I wanted to build my swimming pool?'

'I heard that!'

"Oops!"


Last edited by Greg on Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 4:44 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 184: And he built a crooked house...



"I'm not really sure what it will do," Barry said, "but if it works at all, it will either be a time-travel machine or a vehicle that lets me travel to parallel universes!"



It's either a time travel machine, or..."


"What do you mean, you're not sure?" Gloria said. "Do you really know what you're doing, Mr. Superhero? I don't want to suddenly become a widow during my first week of marriage!"

"But honey, I'm sure it's perfectly safe! I've got all the math worked out--"

"And you don't even know what it does! Besides, it's crooked!"

"Oh, not really. That's just because the power is on. It was straight when I built it, but with the power on it's not 100% in this universe, you see."

"But what other universe is it in?"

"That's what I'm going to find out!" he said, proudly. "This could start a whole new revolution in physics and advance the solution to the theory of general relativity! It might even be the solution to faster-than-light star travel!"



"I know it's important to you."


"Oh sweetie," Gloria said, "you don't have to convince me. I know how important this is to you. I was just looking for reassurance. If this thing works, you'll be going off to some city distant in time or space or something. I don't know how long you'll be gone or where you're going or even if you'll be able to come back!"

"Well, I don't know where I'm going, but I do know that that the math is reversible with no apparent hysteresis, so there should be no problem getting back."

"You're sure?"

"Of that I am sure!"

"Well, just don't go chasing skirts in some other time! I want a whole husband when you get back, not some guy distracted by thinking about some babe who lived a thousand years ago!"

"Gloria, I've known since before I was born that you were only woman for me."

Her eyes watered. "Really?"

"Yup, seriously. Dad thought about you all the time, and I knew how you felt about both of my parents."

"You did? And you still married me?"

"Darling, that's one of the many reasons I fell in love with you!"

"Well, would you imagine that! Gonna tell me the other many reasons?"

"Fools give you reasons..."

"Yeah, I know. Wise men never try! So don't try, wise guy! But kiss me before you go gadding about in your Trans-Universe Chopper Hopper!"


Last edited by Greg on Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:20 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 5:01 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 185: Superhero Sendoff


Barry made a few adjustments to bring the T.U.C.H. up to full power and then focused all his attention on kissing his wife.



Farewell to the Adventurer


"Wow!" Gloria said. "Superheroes do that so well!"

"We do? Better than other guys?"

"Don't push it too far. I was just letting you know that I liked it! Besides, how would I know? Every guy I've ever kissed is a superhero!"

Barry laughed. "Oh yeah? That is very telling, since there are only two superhero guys around. But what about girls?"

It was Gloria's turn to giggle. "At least on that score, I have a standard of comparison! I can honestly say that Sheba is--"

"Ack! Don't tell me! There some some things a boy should not know about his mother! And stop thinking about Her, too! You're leaking all over the neighborhood! Yikes! Don't think about Penelope, either! That's my brother's wife you're--"

"Well, so distract me and make me think about you!"

"Now that is something I know how to do!"

And he commenced to do it.

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 7:51 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 186: Displaced Hero


Morning had dawned before Barry reluctantly cautioned Gloria to stand well away from the machine--just in case--and entered his Trans-Universal Chopper Hopper.

The machine was already at full power so there wasn't much more to do. He took his seat in an old surplus padded chair and, with a final gaze upon Gloria through the window, pressed the button on his remote control that released the displacement field.

Whereupon, his chair, the T.U.C.H., the house, and Gloria all disappeared! Instead of sitting in the TUCH, Barry found himself sitting on his own tush on the ground.



It worked!


He shouted in exultation. "Waaahooo! I was right! It worked! I'm here! I'm here!"

"But, erm, uh, I wonder exactly where I am? And why didn't the TUCH come with me? It should be right here!"



Wherever this is!


"This looks like our lot, but something is missing. Like, the house. And the TUCH. And Gloria! And I was in the back yard when I pushed that button. Now I'm out by the sidewalk. Oh dear, what you gotten yourself into this time, Barry?"

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:15 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 187: Seeking the Comfort Zone


Finding himself alone in a place that was both strange and familiar, Barry set out to explore.



Where Are Mom and Dad?


"The street is here and some of the houses look familiar, but where's Mom and dad's house? Did I go back in time to before they built The Houstonian?"

"As I recall, Mom designed that house while we were still living at the Collegium. There are so many familiar houses that I can't have gone back too far. Maybe we're still living on campus, or just a bit earlier than that."

With no better idea in mind and nobody around to ask, Barry headed north on Westview Boulevard toward the familiar landscape of his childhood. He thought he might stop in at the Matsons' place at the corner of Westview and Monticello, but as soon as he saw that house, he saw a most welcome site past its back yard.

"Manse Orleans! It's there! All right! That confirms that I didn't go back too far in time! Dad built that house for Mom! In fact, I was born there! So at least I know my parents are alive in this time! This is great! If Mom and Dad aren't there, then Uncle Giles and Aunt Frieda will be!"



A Home Away From Home


It was just one long block down Monticello Boulevard to Barry's most homely home and birthplace, Manse Orleans.

"Hmm... I hear voices. Someone is home!" He considered just walking in, but then thought better of it. No one was expecting him and he didn't know which family would be living at the old manse, so for the first time in his life, Barry rang the door bell at Manse Orleans.


Last edited by Greg on Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:56 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 188: Birthplace



Be it ever so humble...

'But, this doesn't look like home. Those statues weren't there any time I remember, and the furniture is all wrong. Oh, someone is coming.'

A smiling blonde lady greeted him. She looked pretty enough, but she wasn't Mom! She didn't even smell like Mom.

"Um, hi, I'm Barry Bennett," he said.



"That's my name, too!"


"Really? That's neat! That's my name, too! I'm Dallas. Dallas Bennett." She had a sweet, breathy soprano voice and a bit of a Texas drawl to her speech.

"Dallas?"

"Yes, named after the city where I was born. Hey, are you one of Greg's relatives? I don't recall him ever mentioning a 'Barry,' but I can see a very strong family resemblance!"

"Um, yes, I'm one of his relatives. He's--"

"In fact, you remind me a lot of my Alexander. If you had his blonde hair--"

"Alexander! Yes! He's my big brother! But he doesn't have blonde hair. It's brown, same as mine."

"Brown? Your big brother? Barry, hold on. I'm having a blonde moment here. I have a son named Alexander and his hair is as blonde as mine. Just like his twin brother William."

"You have a son named Alexander?"

"Yes. The first of my twins. It sounds like an incredible coincidence."

"But Alex doesn't have a twin brother. He has a twin sister. Amanda. My big sister."



"Alex doesn't have a twin brother. He has a sister named Amanda."


"I think I've figured it out," Dallas said. "We're confusing different parts of the family. I'm Dallas. Senior wife of Greg, son of Ralph, son of Olis. Where is your part of the family from?"

"Uh oh."

"Uh oh?"

"Yeah, uh oh. Dallas, I'm Barry Bennett, son of Greg, son of Ralph, son of Olis. And I'm from right here! I was born in this house!"

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:56 pm
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Ok...if you leave us in suspense for long, I'm going to arrange a party with torches and pitchforks.

*edit* doh! it appears that I'm just interrupting you in the middle of an update Grin

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Greg
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:10 pm
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Liss wrote:
Ok...if you leave us in suspense for long, I'm going to arrange a party with torches and pitchforks.

*edit* doh! it appears that I'm just interrupting you in the middle of an update Grin


Rolling on the Floor Laughing I don't know how far I'd gotten in the story when you started organizing the rabble for an assault on the hill.

There are a couple of more chapters to go, if I can get them written tonight. You've probably already figured out what's going on, but the characters don't know it yet. So, I'll get on with letting them find out!
smile


All this really is going somewhere. It just takes a beastly long time to write and illustrate it.

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:35 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 189: Pure Fiction


"Oh, dear, Barry," Dallas said. "Are you feeling well? I've lived here since this house was built. My husband built it for me--"

"My father built it for my mother, but, well, ma'am, this is difficult to explain. That was in my home universe. I don't think I'm in Kansas any more."

Dallas laughed. "No, you're not. You're in Texas." The silly joke was enough to break through the fog in Barry's mind.

"Hoo boy! Without my TUCH, I don't know how I'm going to get home!" He suddenly felt that he should leave and let these people get on with their lives, undisturbed by his folly, but he had no idea where he would go. "Mama Sheba always told me I'd get myself in trouble if I wasn't careful with what I did with my talent!"



Sheba?


Dallas looked startled. "Sheba? Did you say Sheba?"

"Yes, Sheba Bennett. She's my mother. But in my universe, She's married to my father."

"Barry, Sheba is a comic book character invented by my son, William."

"Superhero? Flies around a lot? Telepathic? Has a thing for babies? Everybody capitalizes personal pronouns when they talk about Her?"

He wasn't surprised when she took a step back from him. "Yes, that would be the character, exactly. Are you saying that She really exists?"

'Dallas must think I'm crazy,' he thought. 'But there's nothing to do for it. I can't think of anything better to say than the truth.' "She's real enough to have had me, ma'am, and all my brothers and sisters!"

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:11 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 190: Connection


That was enough for Barry. Dallas obviously thought he was crazy, and so would everyone else he tried to tell his story to. He decided that he should get away before he caused any more of a disturbance.

"I'm sorry to have disturbed you, ma'am," he said. "I really should be on my way." He turned to go.

Then he heard a voice in his head. A sweet soprano voice with a trace of a Texas accent. 'You're right. I do think you're crazy. But then, who isn't?'

'Hrmph. That sounded like something my Mother would say!' he thought.

'Barry--'

'Ma'am?' He turned back to Dallas.

'If you're crazy, then so am I!'

'Huh?'



"If you're crazy, then so am I!"

"I said, if you're crazy, then I'm crazy, too!" Dallas said.

"Yes, ma'am. I heard that."

"No you didn't."

"No?"

"No. I didn't say it. I thought it!"

'Oh?'

'Oh!'

"Barry, there are only two telepathic people in the whole valley, and only one other who knows about us. As far as I know, we are the only two in the whole world! But I can hear you!"

'You can?'

'Clear as a bell!' "And besides that, I can feel you! You feel like a Sole Survivor, but there are only two of us! That's just weird enough to make the rest of your story plausible. You feel like his son! Oh, I know someone who'll want to meet you!"

With that, she opened the door and call out, "Honey! C'mon out here! There's someone here that you're really going to want to meet!"

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Nancy
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:07 pm
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Aha!!! An interesting spin!!!! bounce

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Greg
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:21 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 191: The Other Side of Meadow



Barry thought that Dallas must have been calling to his father. That made him really nervous. He wasn't sure he was ready to meet his father in this universe.

He was quite surprised and a little relieved when instead of his father, another old acquaintance walked out the door.



Good to see you again!


"Meadow!" he said. "It's good to see you again!"

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said. "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage. Have we met?"

"Um, oops. No, maybe we haven't. You remind me of someone I know back home."

"But you know my name--"

Dallas interrupted. "Maybe I can make this shorter. Barry, I'd like to introduce you to my wife, Meadow. Meadow, this is Barry, the son of Sheba!"

Meadow looked startled, and then doubled over with laughter. "All right! What are you up to now, Dallas?"

"I'm as serious as I've ever been, sweetie! This is Barry!"

"Yeah, right! Sure! After all, just yesterday the Amazing Spider-Man and the Green Lantern dropped by and introduced themselves!"

"You're not taking me seriously."

"Oh, should I?" She turned to Barry. "Aren't you a bit large to be a flying baby?"

Barry looked at her. "Well, in for a penny..." He lifted off the ground and hovered near the porch lights. "You see, I grew up. Babies do that."

Since he was already in hero mode, Barry was able to move quickly enough to catch Meadow before she hit the ground.


Last edited by Greg on Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:28 pm
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Nancy wrote:
Aha!!! An interesting spin!!!! bounce


Well, to be precise, it's a plot, not spin. This is a story, not a faked-up "news" report on CNN.

Nevertheless, I'm glad you're enjoying it!

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 11:51 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 192: Return of The General


Once he was sure that Meadow would be all right, Barry turned back to Dallas. "Well, that demonstrates the problem. You might believe me, but nobody else will! I'd better get going before Dad gets home. He'll throw me out on my ear!"



"I'd better get going before Dad gets home..."


Dallas smiled. "I think you're a little too late, dear. Didn't you hear his helicopter?"

"Helicopter? Dad doesn't need a helicopter... um..."

He heard a chuckle in his mind. It was a very familiar deep baritone.

'Uh oh!'

The chuckle faded, but the mirth was still in the voice that replied in Barry's mind. 'Oh, no worries. I heard you two thinking to each other. It was a boring day at the office so I thought I'd get on home where much more interesting things are happening!'

"Um... hi!" Barry said. 'Hoo boy. That was lame!'

'True, but nevertheless appropriate for the situation.'

Meadow had recovered enough from her shock to notice what was going on. "Hey! Are you guys thinking at each other? No fair! I want to hear, too! What the heck is happening?"



Just in case someone is waiting for another installment: That's it for tonight. I'm up past my bedtime.

Will Barry find his way home again without his Trans-Universe Chopper Hopper? Will he be accepted by his family in this universe? Will Gloria ever forgive him for this colossal goof-up? What does all this have to do with the elves in Bonnyview Shores? These and other questions will be answered in the continuing adventures in the Tales of Happy Valley, coming soon to a Hullabaloo near you!

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:25 am
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Greg wrote:
Just in case someone is waiting for another installment: That's it for tonight. I'm up past my bedtime.

Always leave 'em hungry for more. And we are! *8)
:story: Tales of Happy Valley
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